Musical supergroups aren’t a new thing. Bad Company, Audioslave, Mad Season, Them Crooked Vultures, Traveling Wilburys… Each of these, plus more, have created incredible music that drew listeners in because of the talent behind each instrument. For those who love such collaborations, I want to introduce you to Legend of the Seagullmen, a new rock group with names that may make your head spin!
Featuring Brent Hinds of Mastodon and Fiend Without a Face, Danny Carey of Tool and Volto, Pete Griffin of Zappa Plays Zappa and Dethklok, David Dreyer, Chris DiGiovanni, Tim Dawson, and Jimmy Hayward (Jonah Hex, Free Birds), Legend of the Seagullmen have just released their self-titled debut album through Dine Alone Records and it’s packed with eight tracks of blistering nautical-themed psychedelic rock. With lyrics focused on “…ship wrecks and giant mutant squid“, Legend of the Seagullmen aimed to create an epic conceptual album and it seems like fans are in agreement!
Today, we’ve got an interview with Hayward about the group’s debut album, how they all got together, and what their inspirations were. You can read it all below.
Dread Central: Let’s start at the beginning. How’d you get to know everyone in Legend of the Seagullmen?
Jimmy Hayward: Danny and I had been jamming for a long time when I did a movie with Brent. He introduced me to the Doctor who had this idea for a nautical western and the rest fell into place. It was very organic and we took our time.
DC: What brought all of you together to start creating music?
JH: Friendship and a shared love of music. We were all working together already so it fell into place around this organizing principle.
DC: Was it always the intention to release an album or did this start off as something just for fun?
JH: I think we knew fairly quickly that we had to record it and make a record but it started out as something we enjoyed doing. We knew we wanted to do something with it whether it was a movie or a record.
DC: The talent on this album is pretty incredible. What do you think Legend of the Seagullmen adds to the metal community?
JH: We don’t know what we add to any community but we know we are making stuff we love and we really hope other people dig. We are already all doing other stuff so we aren’t beholden to any schedule or demands. We just made what we wanted to make and really enjoyed it. We all dig the theme and concept and so it became something we couldn’t deny. If the metal community embraces it then we are stoked but we aren’t sure where we fit in.
DC: Giant sea creature lore is something that horror fans have a lot of love for, thanks to the immediate connotations of H.P. Lovecraft. You’re also known in the horror community for Jonah Hex. So, I gotta ask, were there any horror influences that played a part in the creation of this album?
JH: I think horror influences guide a lot of us. Brent loves ‘The Creature From The Black Lagoon’ and one of my favorite films of all time is Tobe Hooper’s ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’. I love horror pictures. Danny has a huge original painting by Clive Barker hanging over the control room where we record all the guitars and edit. I’d say we love horror and it’s a part of what we do.
DC: I’ve read that you all create pretty much everything in-house, such as merch and visuals. It feels like you’re creating a full package that makes people realize that music is more than just listening to some songs. Can you tell me a bit about the goal of maintaining that kind of control?
JH: Dr, myself and his brother Frank, who does most of our graphic design, work together to maintain a cinematic feel that represents the tone of the guiding concept. It grounds it in the lore and we feel like it’s really important to marry the music with a visual component. In movies I always maintain that sound is half the experience so in our music we feel like a strong visual representation helps tie the whole thing together. The music is very important to us and we feel like the visual component really augments that importance.
DC: What’s the plan going to be for Legend of the Seagullmen? Will there be a tour? Are there some tracks that might make their way onto a second album?
JH: We just played live with Primus and it was really great to realize these tunes in front of an audience. We fully plan to do a lot more and see festivals and short tours in our future. We are many demos into our second album.
DC: If you could tell people one thing before they hit ‘Play’ on the album to help set the proper expectations, what would it be?
JH: The Seagull God King thanks you for your soul.